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For the new dedicated Alfreton site please click on the link below.
Click on the link below to download a letter that you can edit and send.
Contact email for the Alfreton team
This site is included in the New Strategic Plan
The Alfreton site
for 500 potential houses, on Alfretons LAST piece of open space
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Here is a link the proposals for the Carnfields or Outseats Farm part of Alfreton
Click on the numbers on this page to see the images
Proposed build for 560 houses on open greenfield land
Please use extracts from this template to create your own letter and post to
Rae Gee Amber Valley Borough Council Town Hall Market Place Ripley Derbyshire DE5 3BT
OFFICIAL OBJECTION TO OUTLINE PLANNING PERMISSION BEING GRANTED TO APPLICATION REFERENCE AVA/2012/0084 OUTSEATS FARM, ALFRETON, DERBYSHIRE
(WHICH IS NOTED AS A DEPARTURE FROM THE AVBC LOCAL PLAN)
The documents posted on your website which relate to this planning application (for a proposed 500 plus new homes on a site acreage of 20.16 hectares of Greenfield land) use the draft National Planning Policy Framework, as a point of reference. The draft NPPF DOES NOT become a lawful document until April 2012, nonetheless, this objection also refers to the draft framework and other AVBC Local Plan policies. The aim of this document is to eliminate the principle of housing development on this site.
LOSS OF OPEN SPACE USED BY THE PUBLIC
Draft NPPF Point 128: “Access to good quality open space and opportunity for sport and recreation can make an important contribution to the health and well-being of communities. The planning system has a role in helping to create an environment where activities are made easier and public health can be improved.” Given that the population in the area of Alfreton is ranked within the highest 25% of health and disability deprived in England and are some of the most ‘health deprived’ residents in the borough of Amber Valley (source-AVBC Area Profile of Alfreton, 2011), the loss of this ‘green lung’ would be of enormous detriment to the well-being of the local community. The area is a well used open space in a generally urban, built up environment. Many local residents use this site for walking, cycling, dog walking and horse riding. They appreciate and make the most of this open space. There is an abundance of wildlife to be found here, including pheasants, foxes, herons and many other species of birds. In the Ecological Survey enclosed with this application, point 4.14 confirms that there is evidence of badger activity on this site. (Badgers are a protected species). Hence, one could argue that the loss of this open space will add to the problems encountered by residents of Alfreton in terms of appropriate places that provide opportunity to exercise in order to reduce ‘health deprivation’! Capita Symonds state that 25% of the site will be allocated to open space and recreational provision. However, in REAL TERMS, this means that 15.04 hectares of open space will be lost to development. This is simply not acceptable, in view of the following statistics: From AVBC’s ‘Saved Local Plan’, policy LC3 with national planning policy PPG17 in mind, point 9.3.3 states: “This report identifies in general that there are deficiencies in provision (in open space and recreation opportunity) in the Alfreton East urban area.” Point 13.2.2. adds: AVBC provide only 2.06 hectares of publicly accessible green space per 1000 population, as opposed to recommended figures of 2.40 hectares of publicly accessible green spaces. (This is also Termed by the National Playing Fields Association as the ‘Six Acre Standard’). This fact is referred to by Cllr Jack Brown’s document, ‘Amber Valley Play Strategy 2010-2015.’ Further to this, the draft NPPF, point 129 states: “Existing open space, sports and recreational building and land should not be built on unless
-an assessment has been undertaken which has clearly shown the open space to be surplus to requirements or
-the need for and benefits of the development clearly outweigh the loss.” There is a clear need for this open space to be retained, as it is NOT surplus to requirements, In fact, it can be argued that it is an essential requirement for the people of Alfreton, given the notable inequalities that the people in this area have to endure in terms of being able to access public open space. The developer clearly does NOT demonstrate the need to build on such a valued site! Finally, in this section, point 128 of the draft NPPF states that: “Planning policies should protect and enhance rights of way and access.” There are several public rights of way across the site, according to Derbyshire County Council, in a previous application for development that was refused, in respect of this site.
CREATION OF URBAN SPRAWL
This proposal, if it went ahead, would create an undesirable conglomeration in Alfreton and remove an important green wedge, where residents (who are already acknowledged as being ‘health deprived’) can exercise and use all of the amenities that this attractive and large area of open space provides. In effect, building on this ‘green lung’ will create URBAN SPRAWL. Surely, as point 109 of the draft NPPF states, AVBC should: “identify and bring back into use empty housing and buildings in line with their housing and empty home strategy and where appropriate, acquire properties under compulsory purchase powers.” According to AVBC’s ‘Area Profile for Alfreton, 2011’: “there are a total of 129 priority need housing register applicants in the last six years that have required housing in Alfreton. The majority of people have bid for one bedroomed ground floor flats followed by other one bedroomed properties.” This report goes on to add that there are 55 empty properties in Alfreton. These statistics illustrate that THERE IS NO OVERWHELMING DEMAND FOR FURTHER HOUSING GROWTH IN AND AROUND ALFRETON! In their ‘Statement of Community Involvement’, Capita Symonds say in point 4.9: “The housing market is depressed at present, however the development will be delivered over a period of around 10-15 years and it is considered that there will be a demand in this period. New housing can act as a catalyst to employment, providing decent homes for the workforce to encourage employers to locate in the area.” Can Capita Symonds see into the future and predict what our economy will be like in 10-15 years time? Their gross generalisation is just that-another means of re-inforcing their plans for development without factual evidence to support their claims! If the housing is to be delivered over 10-15 years, then why apply for outline planning permission at this precise moment in time? The ‘sceptics’ in the local community are tempted to believe that it seems to be the case that AVBC are encouraging developers to submit applications for large housing developments, such as this proposal, whilst the interim period between their new Core Strategy and the draft NPPF being amended, (prior to it becoming law in April 2012) is occurring. In other words, NOW, would seem to be the ideal time for AVBC and developers to ‘bulldoze’ planning proposals of this magnitude through. Let’s hope that AVBC will address this case on its merits (not that there seem to be any!) and constraints when reaching an accurate planning decision, rather than allowing housing targets to dictate the outcome of this application! As for the comment by Capita Symonds that new jobs can be created by new housing, any member of the community would find this comment difficult to digest, given the lack of job opportunities prevalent in Alfreton at present and no hope of this situation changing in the foreseeable future.
LACK OF PUBLIC CONSULTATION
AVBC ’Statement of Community Involvement, Adopted June 2006’ Point 7.8 “At pre-application stage, we will, for major developments, encourage applicants to hold exhibitions (in the plural) and other public events to seek clarification of community aspirations, recognising that there are various ‘communities’ which may be affected, possibly requiring separate approaches according to their interests.” ‘Planning Policy Statement (PPS1)-Delivering Sustainable Development’ This document contains the following quote: “local communities should be given the opportunity to participate fully in the process for drawing up specific plans or policies and TO BE CONSULTED ON PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT.” There is no doubt that the consultation process, given the scale and magnitude for this proposed development has been deeply FLAWED. There has been a Stakeholder and Community Workshop at Alfreton Grange Arts College on 19-7-2011 where 78 invitees were asked to attend. Only 14 of them were able to! Since then, the only interaction with the public has been at ONE 4 HOUR PUBLIC EXHIBITION on 22-11-11 (from 5p.m. until 9p.m) at the same venue. Capita Symonds claim to have sent out 1,279 leaflets to homes and businesses in the vicinity within the catchment area. They also claim that random telephone calls proved that all of the leaflets were delivered. However, a number of residents have stated that they knew nothing of the exhibition and that they did not receive a leaflet. Further to this, only 130 people attended the four hour exhibition! Residents feel that they have been discriminated against! Compared to residents in other parts of our borough, who appear in some instances to have had full weekends or even a full week to view plans, maps etc. related to development proposals and liaise with developer’s representatives, there is a general feeling that a four hour slot on just ONE particular night of the week has not given local residents sufficient opportunity to form opinions about this proposed development. It is also noted that notice of the planning application being submitted on 1-2-12, has been published in the Derby Telegraph (not our local newspaper, as Derby is 16 miles away), when many residents have not had the opportunity to comment on the plan! Thus, it is suggested to AVBC that this planning application is put on hold until further and ‘proper’ consultation between Capita Symonds and local residents has taken place.
The site lies wholly within the settlement framework of Alfreton but also lies within the Health and Safety Executives Consultation Zone for Hazardous Substances. In the AVBC Local Plan 2006,Policy EN15 states that: “redevelopment of the site would involve to seek any hazardous or polluted ground conditions,” This is backed up by Planning Policy Statement 23, which AVBC, as the Local Planning Authority, must adhere to. The Hazardous Substances Authority (in this case, AVBC, who have their own ‘contamination officer’) must consult the National Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in respect of this planning application. The HSE will consider the hazards and risks, which the hazardous substances may present to people in the surrounding area and take account of potential development. It is noted that NO HSE report has been submitted for public inspection and comment. Furthermore, is it prudent to develop a site, part of which contains hazardous substances, which are not known to local residents?
The draft NPPF makes scant reference to this aspect of planning, however, in the AVBC Saved Local Plan 2006, policies TP1, TP2, TP3 and TP6 and National Guidance PPG13 must exhibit that they can address traffic issues. Here is a long list of concerns about the proposed new development and its impact on Alfreton:
-there are 520 dwellings proposed. This will increase the volume of traffic by circa 1000-2000 vehicles entering and exiting the proposed new site. This ‘new’ traffic will impact on the existing road network in and around Alfreton.
-any new traffic will have to flow past Leys Junior School
-all vehicles from Flowery Leys Lane will have to exit onto Nottingham Road
-vehicles from both the proposed site and Mansfield Road will probably use the Birchwood Estate as a short cut through to the A38, creating ‘gridlock’.
-traffic entering or leaving Alfreton will ‘hit the existing bottleneck’ around GJ’s.
-the traffic congestion that motorists currently endure in Alfreton will be significantly exacerbated by the traffic generated by the proposed development.
-traffic approaching the Lidl roundabout via Nottingham Road and Mansfield Road is already ‘stacked up’ on a regular basis.
-Alfreton Town F.C. home matches cause traffic chaos in Alfreton.
-a shortage of car parking space already exists in the town. No plans have been forwarded to tackle this problem.
-the town centre will LOSE business due to insufficient parking space. Therefore many people will travel out of the town to shop. The draft NPPF advocates the regeneration of town centres, not the depletion of town centres!
Schools-Derbyshire County Council would have to be consulted regarding the capacity of schools to cope with increased pupil numbers in the area. There could be a possible influx of 600-700 children! Medical Provision-this is already poor in the Alfreton area (there is only one doctors practice in central Alfreton). How will residents in a ‘health deprived’ community like this be catered for? In addition, there is currently a 6-9 month waiting list for dental appointments! Crime-There are plans to close the police station. ”The level of crime in Alfreton is above the borough average: within a 12 month period (Aug. 2008-July 2009) the number of crimes committed per 1000 people was 115.1 compared to the borough average of 65.2 per 1000 people. It is ranked as the highest crime area in the borough” (AVBC Area Profile for Alfreton, 2011). This is EXTREMELY WORRYING! I sincerely hope that you understand the seriousness and complexity of some of these constraints to the proposed development that this letter raises. Furthermore, I also hope that these objections help AVBC’s Planning Board in making the decision to reject the proposed housing development at Outseats Farm, Alfreton.
I would be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt of this objection, as soon as possible, either by e-mail or post. Many thanks.
Your Full Name
PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE SITE
EXTENSION(S) TO THE EAST OF ALFRETON - GA2
• This would not involve development in the Green Belt
• The site lies in close proximity to the town centre
• There are no formal environmental or landscape constraints
• A small part of the site is within a Consultation Zone for